Who is entitled to feel in the age of populism? women's resistance to migrant detention in Britain
The Royal Institute of International Affairs
483 - 502
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European states have adopted strict migration policies, such as unlimited detention in Britain, to address increasing anti-immigrant emotions in the context of rising anti-immigrant populism. These state practices prioritize the feelings of insecurity of some population groups towards immigrants whose emotions and insecurities are politically marginalized. Consequently, whose emotions matter in politics intertwines with whose security matters. This article articulates emotions in politics of security as an entitlement, which feed into the question of who ‘merits’ security politically. By focusing on individuals to whom such entitlement is denied in the context of anti-immigrant populism, it investigates how immigrant women ‘feel’ detention and enact their emotions in their own everyday ‘felt’ security. The research is conducted through in-depth interviews with women who experienced detention in Britain. Through the method of ‘listening guide’ adapted from psychology, the research studies their narratives about their emotions before, during and after detention. By bringing together the feminist research on emotions and ‘everyday security’ approaches in International Relations, this analysis contributes to feminist IR and security studies on women's agency in the politics of security, by revealing the importance of emotional dynamics in their everyday ‘felt’ security practices. Therefore, it offers a path for feminist IR and security studies to prioritize those whom anti-immigrant populism aims to silence in the age of populism.